Posted by Philip Poole on 2008-03-09


While awaiting reports from structural engineers, Samford University officials have continued the recovery and follow up process from the March 9 roof collapse at Erskine Ramsay Hall, a 50-year-old west campus building. No one was injured in the incident.

Recent activities include:

  • All 32 Ramsay Hall residents have been permanently re-assigned to other university housing for the remainder of the spring semester, although some students may stay in temporary housing through Friday, March 14.  Students begin spring break that day and return to classes on March 25.
  • Engineers and university officials continue a systematic re-inspection of all university residence facilities to ensure structural safety.
  • Samford's residence life staff continues to work with the displaced students on all transition needs.  The university's counseling center staff also has been available, if needed, to counsel the displaced students.
  • Samford issued $100 Wal-Mart gift cards to each of the building's residents so that they could purchase needed toiletries, supplies, etc.
  • University officials have met with engineers, contractors and insurance representatives and are awaiting a report on the cause of the collapse before making decisions about the future of the facility.
  • The 8 apartments have been completely cleared of all student possessions and university furnishings.
  • Samford's campus safety office continues on-site security for the Ramsay Hall site and the temporary storage facilities for student possessions.
  • Contractors have removed the collapsed roof and structurally secured the building.

Samford's long-standing emergency response plan was immediately implemented after the collapse. Within minutes of the building's evacuation, residence life staff had accounted for all 32 residents, including those not in the building at the time of the collapse. Samford's campus safety staff and the Homewood Fire Department responded immediately, and other university officials were on campus within minutes of the collapse.

Erskine Ramsay Hall, comprised of eight apartments, was built in the 1950s to serve as a residence hall for faculty members. The two-story brick-and-concrete block structure later was converted to student housing.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.